Alice Cooper Leads All-Star Benefit for Youth Music Academy
Thursday night (March 28) Alice Cooper headlined a concert to celebrate the opening of the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sebastian Bach, Kiss‘s Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, and Doors guitarist Robby Krieger also performed. Before the show Cooper explained how the lineup came about, and talked about the importance of this school and his own Solid Rock Foundation.
Cooper told Ultimate Classic Rock affiliate station B102.7 in Sioux Falls that his school took nearly 14 years to open, but now serves 100 kids every day. It’s making a big difference, he says. “All kids that would have been in gangs, would have been out selling drugs, buying drugs, taking drugs or shooting people. And now they’re playing guitars, playing bass and drums.”
The Brennan Academy, founded by Chuck Brennan, is a sister school of sorts to the Solid Rock Foundation in that they both respond to a dearth of culture brought about by the slashing of arts programs in schools. “We say ‘Come in, write your own songs.’ There’s no right or wrong. Just write the songs, they’ll get better and better and better . . . be creative.”
Summoning top-tier talent for the week long celebration didn’t look to be too difficult. Brennan is a longtime concert promoter, and a friend of Cooper’s and the men of Kiss. Cooper and Krieger are also longtime friends. In fact, the original shock rocker remembers opening for the Doors and playing golf with Krieger in the ’60s.
“I know all the Doors songs,” he states. “I can do a pretty good Jim Morrison up there.”
During the set he covered ‘Back Door Man’ and ‘Break On Through’ in addition to his own hits like ‘I’m Eighteen,’ ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’ and ‘Under My Wheels.’ Also included were a couple of hits from Kiss, including ‘Shout It Out Loud.’
Bach and Krieger worked out a version of the Doors’ ‘The Crystal Ship’ during their set before everyone returned to the stage for ‘School’s Out,’ Skid Row’s ‘Youth Gone Wild’ and the Kiss classic ‘Rock and Roll All Nite.’ The concert series wraps up on Saturday with Stephen Pearcy of Ratt and Vince Neil of Motley Crue, who says he’s bringing actor Nicholas Cage along with him.